Super15 will stretch us to the limit :Hickey

Waratahs coach Chris Hickey says that Australian do not have the depth of players to fill a fifth team when the Super 14 gets expanded to a Super 15.


Hickey’s Waratahs were knocked out of contention for the Super 14 rugby semi finals and he says that a fifth Australian team would not have the depth to match competition standards, and that the drain on the existing player pool would diminish the qualities of the four existing sides.


“I think a fifth team will really stretch us to the absolute limit, particularly if you are going to increase the competition to 22 rounds,” Hickey told the Sydney Morning Herald.


“If they (the Australian Rugby Union) wish to introduce a fifth team, it may need to be more of an Australasian team than an Australian team.”


Hickey added that he agreed that a team of Australian and New Zealand players could also include Pacific Islanders which is an option for the new team.


“That would enable us to put together a fifth team that would be competitive without damaging the four current sides,” Hickey said.


“There is no point having a fifth team if you diminish the strength of the other four teams.”


Hickey said that he also believed there should be no cause for concern after all the Australian sides failed to make the finals. The Waratahs placed fifth on 41 points, while the Brumbies were seventh on 38.


The Force were eighth on 36 and the Reds were 13th on 19. Interestingly the Crusaders qualified for the Semi-finals ahead of the Waratahs even though Hickey’s Waratahs won nine matches and the Crusaders 8 – the Crusaders made up their points with bonus points.


“The Waratahs, Brumbies and Western Force were all strong contenders for the semi-finals series right up to the final round,” Hickey said.


“And the Reds, while they didn’t finish high on the table, managed to defeat the Sharks, (Blues and Cheetahs).


“I don’t think that is indicative of the strength of Australian rugby compared to New Zealand or South Africa. I would feel that once the Wallabies assemble, they will do very well in the TriNations.”

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